The increasing interest in the outdoor lifestyle has also boosted the need for outerwear. These days, synthetic jackets are selling like hotcakes, and for a good reason. They provide much-needed warmth using new types of insulation that perform better compared to traditional materials.
Patagonia, one of the leading brands in outerwear, offers a wide array of gears that lasts through the worst weather conditions. Their latest collections: the Nano Puff and Micro Puff, are in high demand due to their high-quality and versatile jackets, hoodies, and vests.
But which of the two should you consider on your next purchase? In this article, we will guide you through each collection and its features. We also examined various pieces in the collection to determine which best fits your needs.
Patagonia Nano Puff vs Micro Puff Comparison
Aside from the outerwear type – jacket, hoody, or vest – you should also consider the weight of the garment, the type of fabric, the insulation material, and packability. These factors will help you filter your options when shopping. Of course, consider the pricing and value for your money as well.
Let’s take a look at the two collections side by side.
|Patagonia Micro Puff|
|Weight||8.3 oz (235 g)||9.3 oz (264 g)||5.7 oz (162 g)|
|Fabric||Ultralight nylon ripstop Pertex Quantum®||Ultralight nylon ripstop Pertex Quantum®||Ultralight nylon ripstop Pertex Quantum®|
|Insulation||65-g PlumaFill 100% polyester||65-g PlumaFill 100% polyester||65-g PlumaFill 100% polyester|
High-quality materials are common with Patagonia products. That means whichever you choose, whether it’s a Patagonia Micro Puff hoody or any of the Patagonia jackets, you can be sure that it will last for a long time.
What are the Differences Between Nano Puff and Micro Puff?
For a while, Nano Puff technology was common across all Patagonia clothing line. It is a testament to the company’s dedication to developing clothing that will last a lifetime.
Micro Puff is their latest innovation based on Nano Puff. Generally, Micro Puff outperforms Nano Puff in many factors. The former is warmer, lighter, and much easier to pack. However, the latter uses new materials, which means it is also much more expensive.
At first glance, many features of the two collections look pretty much similar. That means Nano Puff is still a great choice for many outdoor enthusiasts. We closely examined Micro Puff and Nano Puff to show you the differences that you may find important.
Insulation and Warmth
Nano Puff entered the market with quite a splash. At the time, it was the standard for ultralight clothing that outperforms many competitors without the expensive price tag.
Whether you are looking to beat your climbing record or going on a long-distance backpacking trip, Nano Puff is a lightweight option that exceeds expectations. Hence, many competitors have copied its approach to synthetic jackets and other outerwear.
The high-quality performance is achieved by using PrimaLoft synthetic insulation. Patagonia uses the best version, which is PrimaLoft Gold Eco. The insulation is much lighter than others but much stronger. Additionally, over 50% is made of recycled materials.
To take insulation to the next level, Patagonia developed a proprietary material using PrimaLoft. Their insulating material works even when it’s wet. That means it maintains the right temperature inside the jacket, whether it’s raining or snowing.
Micro Puff’s PlumaFill insulation is a significant upgrade to Nano Puff’s PrimaLoft. Aside from maintaining heating performance when wet, it is also quite easy to dry out. The material is rebound to create a better loft. This also makes it weather-resistant while maintaining better airflow.
Additionally, Micro Puff’sPuff’s outer nylon shell is 50% thinner than Nano Puff’s polyester shell. This allows the surface to evaporate moisture faster by allowing enhanced airflow throughout the entire garment.
Packability and Weight
The new insulation design in Patagonia Micro Puff also allowed the company to use less material with similar or better warmth than Nano Puff. The latter’s PrimaLoft is bunched into fluffy clumps. While it provides top-notch protection from cold, it makes the jacket relatively bulkier.
On the other hand, the former’s PlumaFill uses stretched-out fibers. The long strands are spread evenly throughout the clothing. Think of how cotton candy is created. This requires less baffling and stitching, which significantly increases its packability.
As shown in the comparison table above, Micro Puff wins when weight is considered. The adoption of newer materials coupled with the smart garment design allows Patagonia to create jackets that are much easier to pack without sacrificing their performance.
Highly versatile outerwear means you can pack lighter, making your trips much easier. Compared to a typical down jacket, Nano Puff can be used in different weather conditions.
The synthetic materials make the garments in the collection comfortable to use at 50 degrees temperature. You can also layer up quite easily when it gets colder. Additionally, it keeps you warm even in wet climates.
Patagonia Micro Puff inherits these features and flexibility. It is perfect for 50 degrees temperatures and much easier to layer in lower temps. Its innovative insulation performs better in wet conditions compared to Nano Puff.
It is also easy to dry, which means maintenance of the clothing during long trips is much easier. Packing is a breeze as well. Overall, Micro Puff offers a better warmth-to-weight ratio, which makes it one of the most versatile options out there.
Pricing is usually where your final choice is made. Generally, the Micro Puff is much more expensive due to its usage of new insulation materials, better design, and enhanced performance. However, it should be noted that prices will depend on the distributor and the store.
Patagonia Micro Puff’s pricing starts a bit cheaper if you check the company’s website. At around $120, it is a bit more affordable than Nano Puff at $185. However, it should be noted that since the latter is a much older collection, they have more garments to choose from. Many stores offer reduced pricing for Nano Puff jackets. It is also typical to find discounted pricing with some jackets as low as $99.
The hoodies and vests are where you can see a clear difference in price tags. Micro Puff’s hoody and vest start at around $120 and $75, respectively. You can find Nano Puff at the higher end of your budget at $150 and $100., but older styles are often cheaper in Amazon and other distributors. Upper price points for Micro Puff can be as much as $300.
A Closer Look at Nano Puff Micro Puff Collections
Now that we have compared the two collections as a whole, let’s take a look at individual outerwear options. We evaluated jackets, hoodies, and vests below.
Nano Puff is a great option for any outdoor activities. Its versatility means you can enjoy its full performance, whether you are a casual traveler or an enthusiast. It provides better warmth than most competitors.
Additionally, it is windproof and waterproof. The 60-g PrimaLoft® Gold Insulation Eco is lightweight and compressible. That means packing is no problem with this jacket. Since it is composed of recycled materials, your jacket will not contribute to pollution.
The Nano Puff Hoody is perfect if you need more protection than the jacket provides. It is made from the same material so you can expect the highest quality and performance. Even with the extra hoody feature, it is relatively easier to pack than a typical down hoody.
You can wear the hoody on 50 degrees temperature then use it to layer when it gets colder. The hood protects you from rain and snow while maintaining 98% of warmth. The under-the-helmet design of the hood is also light, which improves comfort.
The Nano Puff Vest is great if you are looking for a casual outerwear option. It can be worn during the summer, especially when it rains. The vest is also a great additional layer during winter. The quilted block pattern matches many plaids or plains, making it easy to style.
The design includes ample arm space, which is great if you need to be mobile but require protection from the cold. You can also keep the warmth inside the garment by using the included elastic draw at the bottom.
The Patagonia Micro Puff jacket takes what’s best in the Nano Puff collection and makes it even better. Its enhanced synthetic insulation is made of proprietary PlumaFill material. This creates a featherlight jacket with high compressibility.
Just as mentioned in the detailed review above, it provides better warmth than its predecessor. The improved outer shell also enhances its wind and water protection. Furthermore, the jacket is much quicker to dry through its improved airflow.
Much like the jacket, the Patagonia Micro Puff Hoody is a great upgrade if you are thinking of taking your outdoor activities to the next level. The Pertex Quantum GL shell improves its performance during wet weather. It also keeps you warm better than its older brother.
Even with the addition of the hood, it weighs less than most of its competition. Similarly, the use of innovative synthetic insulation does not sacrifice the performance even with the use of fewer materials. The hoody is a great addition to your mid-layer options.
Of course, we will not miss the Micro Puff Vest in this review. Made with the same premium quality material as its siblings, its down-like warmth makes it a popular choice among customers. Because it is lighter than the Micro version, it’s easy to pack, especially when you are expecting changing weather conditions.
The vest is also a great garment, whether you live in the city or off in the mountains. You can easily layer up when the weather gets colder. Because it breathes well, you can dry it out much faster than other vests.
So which is it, Nano Puff or Micro Puff? That really depends on your planned activities and budget. Nano Puff is still the standard when it comes to outerwear. It is lightweight compared to its competitors. Plus, it can be easily packed without adding much weight to your bag. If you are looking for a more affordable option, Nano Puff will exceed your expectations.
But, if you are expecting more extreme weather, then the enhanced quality of Micro Puff is worth the investment. Additionally, it is great for long trips as you can easily dry it at the end of the day. Because the Patagonia Micro Puff uses fewer materials, you can carry it practically everywhere without worrying about its compressibility.